Monday, December 29, 2008

The Social Media Gurus

In our research, we're often plowing through several social media sites to learn what experts are saying about and to one another. And, in the spirit of learning from the best, here is a list lifted from Business Week Blogspotting columnist Stephen Baker. Click through this treasure trove of links to begin or refine your social media education.

Mark Cramer

Lee Odden

Peter Shankman (aka Skydiver)

Jeff Pulver

Linus Torvalds

Ward Cunningham

Tim O'Reilly

Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus

Richard Edelman

Dave Winer

Chico the Dog

Simon Berry

Jay Rosen

David Chamberlain

Honey Bee network

A top-10 list

Lawrence Lessig

Tristan Harris, Apture

Steve Rubel

Robin Good

Marshall Kirkpatrick

Richard MacManus

Rachel Sterne

Gary Vaynerchuk

Liz Strauss

Craig Stoltz

Shel Holtz

Andy Carvin

Shel Israel

Laura Fitton

jeremiah oywang

Fred Wilson

Guy Kawasaki

Jason Goldberg

Chris Brogan

David Weinberger

Kevin Rose

Robert Scoble

Chris Hughes

B. L. Ochman

Beth Kanter

Biz Stone

Mohammad Yunus

Shannon Paul

Tim Jackson

Amber Naslund

Jason Falls

Beth Harte

David Armano

Mack Collier

Brian Solis

Rashmi Sinha

Bob Pearson

Frank Eliason

Seth Godin

Ev Williams

Kathy Sierra

Hugh MacLeod

Chris Bruzzo (MyStarbucksIdea)

Remember to join our eNews list. Get Guru Updates 1st! -- pure energy, enthusiasm put to work.

Rather than expound too much on this remarkable effort, we strongly suggest you see and hear it in their warm and engaging presentation. This type of dedication and joy, channeled into a measured and structured system, makes for the type of guru in-the-making that warrants your attention now, and for years to come. We've slotted these folks for an interview on for 2009.

See their video here, and learn more about Neal Campbell and Luria Petrucci at their site.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Getting new blog up on GuruTrack this weekend. Still need nominations for favorite Gurus. Go to htp:// to contribute.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Xmas Lighting Guru

In the spirit of the season, we present the Holiday Lighting Guru, Richard Holdman.

Holdman devotes considerable energy each year to creating multi-faceted displays that employ all manner of wiring, manufacturing, computer-coding and musical coordination. He delivers on all fronts, and shares his genuius w/ how-to's and behind-the-scenes videos on his site, Holdman Christmas. He also donates funds raised to Make-A-Wish.

To see more of his fine work, see this post on SaucyJoes. Meanwhile, endulge yourself with this delightful video:

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Drinking from the chalice of Alphabet Juice

We often applaud the efforts of geniuses as they explore things remarkably far from the box (not just outside it) but we're far more enamored of the Guru who embraces knowledge and delivers an easily accessible dissection of their portion of the universe.

Truly amongst the best of the modern-day bards of language and it's use is Roy Blount Jr. Author, speaker and pundit, he seems equally at home behind the podium as ensconced on a porch swing. NOTE: We've never seen him on a swing but we know he's adept at it, okay?

So our surprise and delight was evident as we listened to RBJ as he spoke with Bob Edwards this morning regarding his new -- just in time for your gift list -- effort, Alphabet Juice.

Hearing him describe it, read from it and share the wit and wisdom behind it was delicious and we immediately ordered copies for favorite people. We would highly recommend you do the same. In difficult times, a prudent but truly thoughtful gift is um, good, and this will be a delight for the word smith or reader in your crowd. Here's what Michael Dirda at the Washington Post had to say:

If your eyes have only skimmed over the long subtitle of Alphabet Juice and just vaguely registered that the book has something to do with words, please go back and read the entire subtitle again, slowly. This time listen to the syncopation of the clauses, as well as the alliterative music of the p's and t's, then note the juxtaposition of high and low style ("combinations thereof," "innards"), the punchy yet unexpected nouns ("gists," "pips"), that touch of genteel sexual innuendo ("secret parts"), and the concluding flourish of the gustatory. Like Roy Blount Jr. himself, his new book's subtitle neatly balances real learning with easy-loping charm. But then Blount isn't merely the ah-shucks Georgia boy he might sometimes seem; he's a Georgia boy who was a Phi Beta Kappa at Vanderbilt and has an M.A. in English from Harvard. Moreover, for the past 40 or so years he has supported himself by a versatile and distinctly pleasing way with words, having been successively (or even simultaneously) a sports reporter, essayist, cultural commentator, light versifier, occasional actor, novelist, lecturer, oral storyteller and anthologist (Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor). Though generally slotted as a humorist (in the down-home vein of Will Rogers and Garrison Keillor), Blount is still serious enough to be a longtime usage adviser to the American Heritage Dictionary, a contributing editor of the Atlantic Monthly, and a star of National Public Radio's quiz show "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me." And therein lies a mystery: Given all this energetic freelancing, how does the man somehow manage to sound -- in person and on the page -- as if he spent most of his time lounging on an old davenport, with a cold Abita Amber in his hand, watching football or basketball on TV?
So, that being said, we truly embrace his work, his smarts and love of the language. All the qualities we seek in a Guru. If you'd like to learn more about Mr. Blount, you can find him here.

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Okay, pinging this a.m. If you love words, you really need to see Roy Blount's new book, Alphabet Juice 

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Top 10 Ted Talks

We're madly searching for accessible Gurus you can get to and learn from, but while we're toiling, feed your head w/ this bunch -- The Top 10 Ted Talkers as favorited by viewers.

1. Jill Bolte Taylor: "My stroke of insight"
2. Jeff Han: "Touchscreen demo foreshadows the iPhone"
3. David Gallo: "Underwater astonishments"
4. Blaise Aguera y Arcas: "Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo"
5. Arthur Benjamin: "Lightning calculation and other 'Mathemagic'"
6. Sir Ken Robinson: "Do schools kill creativity?"
7. Hans Rosling: "The best stats you've ever seen"
8. Tony Robbins: "Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better"
9. Al Gore: "15 ways to avert a climate crisis"
10. Johnny Lee: "Creating tech marvels out of a $40 Wii Remote"

You can watch the highlight reel here, or click on the links beside each person's name to see that individual talk.

To see all the TED geniuses on stage, click on this TED link...

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oliver Selfridge, AI pioneer, dies @ 82

Oliver G. Selfridge, an innovator in early computer science and artificial intelligence, died on Wednesday in Boston. He was 82.
We ALL owe a debt of gratitude to this man, and his tireless efforts. His work made so many of today's commonplace technological advances possible.

For more, see this obit in the New York Times.

He never stopped theorizing, speaking and writing on what he saw as the future of artificial intelligence. You can read more of his work as an author here.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bob Edwards -- Eavesdropping on the Experts

Listening to a Bob Edwards interview is like satisfying your deepest food craving: you feel slightly guilty, quite delighted and so very sated by the experience. You've just overheard Bob chatting with one of the world's greats, and you are immediately richer for it.

I indulge in this ear candy each morning on my XM 133 (they've killed so many other worthwhile offerings so this is one of the last refuges on the satellite) and find it to be a great example of what we call a "trusted interview." One can turn to Dick Cavett or David Frost as trusted hosts who have made their mark in this genre, (also not coincidentally on NPR broadcasts) but often times, Mr. Edwards' extensive preparation, friendly manner and dulcet tones makes each interview more of a conversation between friends. You listen, you learn, you feel much better for the experience, and you don't in the least mind that the host was as much of the experience as the guest.

I trust that Bob Edwards is not an outsized ego who masks his drive in a friendly facade. And I'm willing to wager that he really doesn't work to insert himself into the story. It is unavoidable though, and we love him for being there and introducing us to yet another person of global impact.

Listening to his interview with Daniel Schorr, the only working member of Edward R. Murrow's original broadcast teams, you felt as though these two voices were peers simply reminiscing. Many other modern-day broadcast heads would be but a shadow in Schorr's presence, and Edwards brought out the best, and the curtain of broadcast news history was peeled back in a manner not easily discovered today.

In our efforts to find and interview experts, leaders and gurus we admire or discover, Mr. Edwards' efforts stand as a touchstone; a watermark we aspire to reach each time.

Links to Bob Edwards on the web:

Website for The Bob Edwards Show

His Blog

The Weekend Podcast (free)

MySpace Profile

Flickr Photos

NPR Tribute

RSS Feed (XM)

Bob Edwards' Books

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